Factory Girl Fascination


Although she only knew Andy Warhol for a short time, just under a year in the mid 60s, one cannot hear the name of the artist without thinking of his prized “Factory Girl”, Edie Sedgwick.  Suffering from mental illness and drug addiction, the well-to-do society girl found a little niche for herself in 1960s Manhattan artist scene, modeling and starring in some of Warhol’s underground film works. 

Before meeting Warhol, by only one month, Edie found herself next to music sensation Bob Dylan.  Their sorted affair which ended with Dylan marrying someone else, much to the surprise of Edie, who probably never got over the devastation.  Dylan’s Blond on Blond is supposedly about Edie. 

The fascination with Edie Sedgwick rocks on.




“Edie was born to die young,” says one article.

“She arrived in NY in 1964 with a trust fund, spending it quickly going though $80,000 in 6 months.  She was a society girl, a trustafarian drawn to the margins of Bohemia.  In January 1965, she met Warhol at a party.  Few socialites graced The Factory, [Warhol’s Manhattan hide-out where he produced films among other things].  Once he met Edie, the two were practically inseparable.  Edie became like an accessory Andy Warhol wore everywhere he went.

Edie transformed herself in the process, cutting her hair and dying it silver blond.  She often wore tights from her dance classes everywhere, creating a signature 60s look:  Black tights, long t-shirts, her chandelier earings, dark eye-makeup and pale lips. 

Drugs were her downfall.  She says she was first introduced to really hard drugs at the Factory, where she became an underground film star, featured in Warhol’s voyeuristic films. 

She died at age 28, five years after leaving the Factory. 


Being in and out of institutions to treat her mental illness, a trait that ran through her family and tragically took the lives of two of her brothers, Edie finally had given up drug use and was married.  However, she was prescribed medication for a physical injury and after a night at a party, at which she drank heavily, her husband gave her the prescribed amount of her prescription and the two went to bed. 

In the morning, Edie Sedgwick was dead.  Her death was recorded as overdose/suicide.  (Wonder about the “suicide” – it sounded more like an accidental overdose.  Makes me wonder how drunk her husband was, and if it was worded this way to protect his involvement.)

Her story in tragic, yet glamourous, and, of course, sad as well.  She was a great beauty that few got to know, and too few of the world got to see.  She may have had an outstanding career hadn’t her addictions taken over her life.

Naturally that is why we are so intrigued.

Source:  Style Over Substance  by Linda Grant

P.S.  The Wit Continuum’s favorite pic of Edie is the one at the top of page–perfect 60s icon.

9 Responses to “Factory Girl Fascination”

  1. Sarcastic Bastard Says:

    I have to say that I really liked Factory Girl, the movie about Edie, starring Sienna Miller. I don’t like Sienna very much, but she did an excellent job portraying Edie.

    You might want to check it out, if you haven’t seen it.


  2. I’ve always thought of her as a mysterious girl. I know her story has been told of course but it just seems that perhaps there was a lot more to her. She had her own unique style and it’s sad that she died so young.


  3. Jennifer Rains Says:

    Loved Factory Girl which increased my interest in Edie. There is so much out there about her. I tried to link some You Tube films of Edie that are quite interesting but they didn’t work. If you can check out The Caio Manhattan Tapes on You Tube and another: Edie Sedgwick Documentary Clip. They’re about 6 minutes or so and I found them fascinating. Edie’s voice from the past describing her experiences – chilling in a way – and you can sense drug use in her voice I think.

    SB, what’s the word on Mercer?


  4. Sarcastic Bastard Says:

    Thanks for asking about Mercer, Jennifer. She threw up blood on Monday, so that was scary. The vet said maybe she has an ulcer. They took X-rays of her and no mass tumors or anything (thank God!), but the vet said cancer could be in the intestines and not show up on an X-ray. I am giving her two syringes of medicine in the morning and at night, and one medicine smells like bananas. Mercer doesn’t even like the smell of bananas! You’d think they could make the stuff chicken- or liver-flavored or something.

    She threw up again last night, but overall she is better. I am due to take her back to vet next Tuesday. I am still worried. She is very clingy because she doesn’t feel well.

    Thanks again for asking.


  5. Very interesting – I love her style.


  6. debbi radford Says:

    Do keep us posted, SB…


  7. I loved “Factory Girl.” What a tragic figure was Edie in many ways. I was blown away by Sienna Miller’s performance and so wish she could get more roles like this. I feel her personal life overshadows her talent as an actor. Artists make such great subject matters for movies. They and their muses are often so complex–frustrating, fascinating, and appealing all at the same time.


  8. I hate Andy Warhol; he used Edie. Chewed her up, and spit her out.


  9. I just finished watching “Factory Girl.” An outstanding performance by Sienna Miller and yes I agree that Andy Warhol was the user and envious of the originality of Edie and of course his copycat ways are reflected in his art. She was the original and he was just the copy- a scumbag copy if that!


Any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: